Jan. 3, 2011 -- A 10-year-old Ohio boy was charged with murder today for allegedly shooting his mother with a .22 caliber rifle.
Holmes County juvenile assistant prosecutor Sean Warner told ABC News that the boy has been charged with one count of murder.
"I can't divulge any statements by witness or the alleged delinquent child. But as charged it does not appear to be accident," said Warner. "There is no indication that there are any other suspects."
The 10-year old defendant issued a denial of the murder charge when he appeared in court this afternoon.
The youth is being held at the Richland County Juvenile detention facility, according to Brad Conn, baliff for the Holmes County Juvenile Court.
He is expected to remain at the detention facility unless a suitable less-restrictive placement is secured, possibly with a relative.
Nathan Fritz, chief deputy sheriff for Holmes County, said that at this time they are trying to understand why the boy allegedly shot his mother, who is believed to have been a home health care worker.
"We are trying to determine what might have motivated the suspect," Fritz said.
Fritz said that the boy was involved in at least two cases of unruly behavior, both in school and on the school bus.
The boy's 15-year-old sister was at the home during the shooting. "The sister ran out of the residence first," Fritz said.
The sister has been placed with relatives, police said.
The prosecutor said the rural county had never seen a crime like this before.
"I'm not aware of any other similar case in this area's history," Warner said.
Holmes County Sheriff Tim Zimmerly said police were called to the tiny town of Big Prairie about 6 p.m. Sunday because the boy allegedly killed his mother, 46-year-old Deborah McVay, with a .22 caliber rifle.
The woman's body was found lying face down in the livingroom with a single shot to the head, Zimmerly said.
Rural Ohio Town Shocked By Murder Charges Against Boy
The boy was brought to the detention facility in Richland County early this morning. He must have a hearing within 24 hours of being detained, explained Mike Casto, court administrator for Richland County.
Authorities went to the boy's home Sunday night after a neighbor called police to say the 10-year-old told them "he needed the squad and the police and that he had just shot his mom," according to Zimmerly.
A neighbor of McVay estimated that the family moved into the rural area less than a year ago. The quiet community, located about a mile outside of town and comprised mostly of dairy farms, rarely experiences violence.
"I don't even know of another [shooting]," neighbor Wilmer Duncan told ABC News.